Allegiant to offer wireless IFE streaming on 757s

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Allegiant Air will be giving passengers the option of wirelessly streaming entertainment content to their personal electronic devices with Row 44's video-on-demand service.

The ultra-low cost carrier will retrofit equipment for the system on its Boeing 757s starting in 2013. These aircraft primarily fly from destinations in the mainland USA to Hawaii. Allegiant operates four 757-200s, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.

Allegiant has opted for a version of Row 44's on-demand service that does not receive content from a satellite connection. Instead, content is stored on a 1.8 terabyte server in the aircraft that streams movies, television shows, games, flight maps and music to personal devices within the cabin.

The set-up that Allegiant is installing will require the same set of equipment as Row 44's Ku-band wifi service, but the main difference is that it does not require an antenna for satellite streaming.

In that regard, this system differs from Row 44's live television service that Southwest is currently testing. That platform uses a Ku-band satellite to stream video channels to passengers. Allegiant has instead opted to offer on-demand content in a configuration where it is stored locally on the server, rather than arriving through a satellite link.

Allegiant joins the growing amount of operators streaming on-demand content wirelessly to personal electronic devices. Delta secured a deal with Gogo at the Airline Passenger Experience Association Expo earlier this month to install the Gogo Vision on-demand streaming product on more than 950 aircraft, and Inmarsat is working with OnAir to provide on-demand video via SwiftBroadband with SBTV.